Back in the summer of 1947 – 64 years ago this week – Seattle had flying disc fever. It was sparked that June 26 when the P-I ran an Associated Press story from Pendleton, Ore., telling the story of pilot Kenneth Arnold seeing “nine bright, saucer-like objects flying at ‘incredible’ speed at 10,000 feet altitude.”
Arnold, a U.S. Forest Service employee, reported seeing the discs weaving in and out of formation between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. If one dipped, Arnold said, the others did, too.
“It seems impossible,” he told a reporter, “but there it is.”
His account generated worldwide publicity and launched the flying-saucer frenzy. Rewards were offered for evidence. A pastor said “flying saucers” signaled the end of the world. A man found bleeding from the head claimed he was hit by a flying disk.
That summer, a group of “witnesses” in Seattle met with P-I editors to argue that they could not all be crazy. The paper’s files filled with the names of hundreds of citizens reporting saucer incidents. Within two months, the P-I ran at least 50 separate stories on flying disks.To read the rest of the article, click here.